The Note

Today's Schedule (all times Eastern):

—9:00 am: Ambassador Carol Moseley Braun formally announces her presidential candidacy at Howard University, D.C.

—9:45 am: Off-camera White House press gaggle with Scott McClellan —11:00 am: Representative Bill Janklow holds a news conference, Sioux Falls, S.D.

—11:30 am: Representative Dick Gephardt delivers an agricultural policy speech, Prole, Iowa —12:00 pm: House convenes for a pro forma session

—12:15 pm: Vice President Cheney makes remarks at a Bush-Cheney 2004 luncheon fundraiser, Hartford, Conn.

—12:25 pm: Senator John Kerry addresses the Detroit Economic Club, Detroit

—1:00 pm: Governor Gray Davis holds a joint press conference with Washington Governor Gary Locke and Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski (via statement) to announce the formation of a tri-state coordinated strategy to reduce greenhouse emissions and fight global warming, Los Angeles

—2:00 pm: Ambassador Moseley Braun formally announces her presidential candidacy at Benedict College, Columbia, S.C.

—2:00 pm: President Bush tours the Temporary Virginia Emergency Operations Center and receives a briefing on hurricane damage at the Virginia State Police Academy, Richmond, Va.

—2:00 pm: Senate convenes for legislative business

—2:15 pm: National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice gives a briefing on the President's Tuesday trip to the United Nations, White House

—4:00 pm: Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals holds an en banc hearing regarding the decision to delay the recall, San Francisco —4:30 pm: Maria Shriver tours the Bring Me a Book Foundation and addresses the media, Mountainview, Calif. —5:00 pm: Senator Joe Lieberman and Lieutenant Governor Cruz Bustamante visit an English as a second language class and hold a media availability, San Francisco

—6:00 pm: State Senator Tom McClintock attends an anti-car tax rally, Los Angeles —8:00 pm: Representative Dennis Kucinich takes part in a town hall meeting, Annapolis, Md. —8:00 pm: Ambassador Moseley Braun formally announces her presidential candidacy at the University of Illinois, Chicago —8:00 pm: FOX airs Brit Hume's interview with President Bush on the eve of his address to the United Nations

—8:00 pm: At least 90 California gubernatorial candidates are expected to be studio guests for the taping of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Burbank

—8:30 pm: General Wesley Clark attends a campaign fundraiser, New York City


Dear General Clark:

Welcome (back) to New York.

We read a lot about you over the weekend, including that you resisted Gert's entreaty to make list of the pros and cons before you got into the race.

We are big admirers of yours, but we think an assessment along those lines just might make sense about now.

You arrive in Manhattan at a fabulous time for you (what with the Newsweek putting you on the cover, with their poll showing you — within the MoE, we must point out — first in the Democratic horserace, and the strongest against President Bush) and a decent amount of momentum hanging around from last week's launch.

You've had quite a week of media coverage — the whys and hows helpfully explained over the weekend by the Boston Globe 's punchy Mark Jurkowitz which we recommend to you. LINK

Some days over the next few weeks, you are probably going to be glad you get overshadowed: by Carol Mosley Braun's presidential announcement today (just kidding); by the rarish televised federal court of appeals hearing in the California recall today; by the president's United Nations speech tomorrow; by Wednesday's California gubernatorial debate and ABC News' Taste of the Campaign party; by Howard Dean's unbelievable fundraising number released at a place and time of Joe Trippi's choosing; and by every Hillbilly burp and flex.

In fact, we aren't sure how Gert feels about the Clintons, or, really, how you feel about them, but we sense a wee bit o' danger from how the Gang of 500 views you vis-a-vis your fellow Arkansan(s).

Bill Safire's perf on "Meet" yesterday, and his column this morning, probably make you want to punch him in the nose, with its supposition that you are somehow only a creature of the Clintons. LINK

Anyway, it turns out the Clintons live in New York now, and the salons you will enter tonight for your fundraisers after your trip to South Carolina, will be filled with people who love the Clintons, haven't really been turned on by any members of the Gang of 9, and are enjoying the Bush-Cheney-Evans economic uptick enough to write you checks.

And, lucky for you, most of them skip the Saturday tabloids, so they didn't read the hammering you got for your "I was opposed to the war … I wouldn't have voted for the war resolution … I was against the war" storyline. LINK and LINK

Of course, they also missed Saturday's New York Post editorial trashing you, which would have made them like you more. LINK

Ditto Sunday's Union Leader/New Hampshire Sunday News effort. LINK

However, we ARE dealing with sophisticated readers here, General, and all those mass e-mails going out meant to build crowds of supporters for today's three events might not get quite the reaction they otherwise would have if people read the papers closely ("Please pass this along to ALL your interested friends. We need to raise money NOW. We know this is short notice. Have them cancel their plans. Have them bring their friends. What are they doing on Monday night anyway?").

Because close reading of the papers would have allowed people to notice that, by the sheerest of coincidences, references to the exact same year-old wire story appeared in the later editions of yesterday's New York Times and today's Washington Post , adding another data point (as Dr. Rice would say) to the history of your position on the war.

It turns out that when you were campaigning for Katrina Swett in New Hampshire last October, you were pretty clear (well, clear for you on this stuff!) about your views of how to vote:

"Retired U.S. Army Gen. Wesley Clark said Wednesday he supports a congressional resolution that would give President Bush authority to use military force against Iraq, although he has reservations about the country's move toward war."

"Clark, who led the allied NATO forces in the Kosovo conflict, endorsed Democrat Katrina Swett in the 2nd District race."

"He said if she were in Congress this week, he would advise her to vote for the resolution, but only after vigorous debate."

Kym Spell, your press secretary told that woman who is following you around most everywhere, ABC News' Clark reporter Deborah Apton, that she knew about these statements by General Clark and that they reinforce The General's explanation that he gave to reporters like Adam Nagourney on the 90-minute flight last Thursday.

Just a reminder: last Thursday he said he probably would have voted for" the Congressional resolution authorizing Bush to invade Iraq," only to flip flop Friday saying, "I would never have voted for war."

We're confused ourselves here: where do you stand on the resolution, and would a(nother) interview with Mike Glover be helpful?

And paging Dr. Dean and Senator Kerry.

All this has gotten so far is a brief mention in buried in yesterday's New York Times story about your record LINK and in today's Washington Post pol Notes column. LINK

We wonder if other media will pick it up.

The scant attention to all this thrashing around doesn't keep Joe Lieberman from garnering a Des Moines Register column about how "confusing and ambivalent" he finds your views on this to be. LINK

Given that you seem so tied to Clinton no matter what, perhaps you should shift to a version of what then-Governor Clinton classically said with respect to the United States' involvement in the Gulf War: "I guess I would have voted with the majority if it was a close vote. But I agree with the arguments the minority made." LINK

Now, helping you sort all of this out is an increasing cadre of Clintonistas, most of whom will roll their eyes at Time's report that the FPOTUS is trying to get his wife to drive around Upstate with Bruce Lindsey getting people to spontaneously release her from her pledge not to run for President this year. LINK

We should probably call John Podesta and ask him why he has been on the phone encouraging people to help Clark, but we'll get to that later today. Or, maybe, John, you could call/e-mail us.

We asked one long-time Clinton watcher who understands the rhythms of Hillbilly moments to try to explain the Time thing and all the other Clinton buzz out there and here's what we got:

"Well, from what I can tell … all of its true and none of its true."

"Which means … sure! He thinks Clark would be great! And, sure! Wouldn't it be great if HRC could run this time??"

"But she is not going to because she knows she would get killed. And so does he."

"And I think there's a lot of 'chatter in the system' because there is a big appetite for Clinton chatter and folks who aren't particularly credible are finding themselves sought after."

"Let's just say I think X [name deleted, but savvy readers can guess] has been spending a lot of time on the phone."

Still, Clintonistas continue to come on board, some fully committed (checking real estate prices in Arkansas, and room rates at the Peabody), others simply agreeing to help out with things such as debate prep and aftermath, including, The Note has learned, the Harbour Group's Joel Johnson, who knows a thing or three about presidential politics.

While the New York Times helpfully creates momentum for you with your New York would-be donors today with a story suggesting you raised $750,000 in a few days LINK, and Jon Alter disparages the money primary (for some reason choosing to forget/ignore that it has determined the nominee of both major parties every year but one in the modern era), we still think you are going to have to figure out how to raise a lot in a hurry. LINK

Whatever you raise NOT on the Web is going to come from people who Jordan, Elmendorf, etc., would dearly loved to have had.

People are just going to keep picking over your military career, with the Los Angeles Times twins of Richter and Brownstein finding you to be a military man with a past.

But elections, as Bill Clinton will tell you, are about the future, and we are still waiting to hear what you have to say about that.

For your sake, we hope you don't just end up playing the role for Howard Dean that Newt Gingrich played for Bob Dole in 1996 — freezing the field through your run and keeping anyone else from locking up new donors or growing in other political ways.

And, did we mention the Clintons and the shadow they are casting over you?

Senator Clinton's decision to take those "you go, girl!" e-mails encouraging her to run for president SOON off of her Web site was a nice accommodation to sanity. LINK

But going to speak in South Carolina on October 6 — not so much. LINK

So, as we said: General Clark is scheduled to campaign in South Carolina today. He will travel to New York City on Monday to be on the Charlie Rose show and attend a fundraiser at the home of Gail Furman (and maybe some more).

He is planning to meet with Pakistani President Musharraf in New York City on Tuesday before flying to Indiana to campaign there. He will be Chicago on Wednesday and then travel back to New York City on Thursday for the debate.

Elsewhere today and the week ahead:

The second Democratic National Committee-sanctioned presidential debate takes place this Thursday at 4:00 pm ET at the New York City campus of Pace University.

All 10 Democratic candidates are scheduled to attend this debate, which will focus on the economy. The event is sponsored by CNBC and the Wall Street Journal , and NBC's Brian Williams will moderate. CNBC's Ron Insana and Gloria Borger and the Journal's Gerald Seib will ask questions.

The president will travel to Richmond, Virginia, today to tour the Temporary Virginia Emergency Operations Center and to receive a briefing on hurricane damage at the Virginia State Police Academy. He will appear in an exclusive interview with Fox News' Brit Hume tonight at 8:00 pm ET on your local Fox station (not on FNC).

He addresses the United Nations in New York City on Tuesday morning. He meets with the president of Paraguay on Friday and spends the weekend with the Putins at Camp David.

Vice President Cheney makes remarks at a Bush-Cheney 2004 luncheon fundraiser in Hartford, Connecticut, today.

The heads of two of Washington's powerhouse lobbying outfits — the American Association of Health Plans and the Health Insurance Association of America — plan a 1 pm ET press conference call today, and could it be that a long-simmering merger with huge implications for how Washington will work is about to be consummated?

Ambassador Moseley Braun formally announces her presidential candidacy today in D.C., South Carolina, and Chicago. She is scheduled to be in New York City for the debate on Thursday, and is also scheduled to attend the Congressional Black Caucus' legislative conference in D.C. this week.

Senator Kerry addresses the Detroit Economic Club today. He's in New York City on Thursday for the debate. He's scheduled to campaign in Iowa over the weekend with Senator Kennedy.

Senator Lieberman is in California today, where he will visit an English as a Second Language class facility in San Francisco with Lieutenant Governor Bustamante. He campaigns in southern California tomorrow including a scheduled event with Governor Davis. He's in D.C. on Wednesday for a reception at Mark Penn's house and in New York City on Thursday for the debate.

Congressman Gephardt is in Iowa today and tomorrow. He'll make an agricultural policy speech this morning at Clara Bell's farm in Prole. Tomorrow, he will go to a reception in Davenport and the National Agricultural Summit in Cedar Rapids.

Congressman Kucinich will be the keynote speaker at a town hall meeting tonight in Annapolis, Maryland. He participates in a town hall meeting at the Tibet House in New York City on Tuesday. He campaigns in New Hampshire on Wednesday. He's in New York City for the debate on Thursday.

Senator Edwards is in Chicago today but has no public events scheduled. He campaigns in Oklahoma on Tuesday. He's in New York City for the debate on Thursday. He'll campaign in Columbia, South Carolina, on Saturday.

Governor Dean has no public events scheduled for today. He attends a rally in Copley Square in Boston on Tuesday. He will be in New York City on Thursday for the debate. He campaigns in Iowa over the weekend.

Senator Graham has no public events scheduled for today. He has fundraisers in D.C. on Tuesday and some more in New York City on Wednesday. He'll stay in Gotham on Thursday for the debate.

Reverend Sharpton has no public events announced for the week yet other than attending the debate in New York City on Thursday.

Administration officials will be on the Hill all week talking to members about the president's Iraq/Afghanistan funding request. (Please see entry "National Security, Politics of")

In the recall:

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will hold an en banc hearing in San Francisco today regarding the decision to delay the recall. They could rule from the bench, but most expect them to rule in a day or so.

Today is the deadline for Californians to register to be eligible to vote in the recall.

The California Broadcasters Association sponsors a debate for gubernatorial candidates (including a certain former Mr. Universe) on Wednesday.

Davis will hold a joint press conference in Los Angeles with Washington Governor Gary Locke and Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski to announce the formation of a tri-state coordinated strategy to reduce greenhouse emissions and fight global warming. As mentioned above, he campaigns with Senator Lieberman on Tuesday.

As mentioned above, Bustamante tours an English as a second language class with Senator Lieberman in San Francisco today.

Arnold Schwarzenegger attends private fundraisers in Atherton today. He holds an "Ask Arnold" forum in Sacramento on Tuesday . He will attend the California Broadcasters Association debate on Wednesday.

Maria Shriver will take a private tour of the nonprofit Bring Me a Book Foundation, have lunch with local businesswomen, and then make a statement to the press in Mountainview today. She speaks to the San Francisco Commonwealth Club on Tuesday.

State Senator Tom McClintock is in Los Angeles speaking at a "Principles over Politics" breakfast and then attending another anti car-tax rally.

The Tonight Show with Jay Leno is expected to have more than 80 California gubernatorial candidates as part of the studio audience tonight.


A new frontrunner? That's what Newsweek calls Clark. LINK

"Retired Gen. Wesley Clark may have only entered the presidential race on Thursday, but he is already the Democratic frontrunner, according to a new Newsweek poll."

"Clark won support from 14 percent registered Democrats and Democratic leaners, outpacing" Dean (12 percent), Lieberman (12 percent), Kerry (10 percent) and Gephardt (8 percent).

Howard Fineman's Newsweek piece on the Democrats' new "It boy" suggests that Clark is furious at Karl Rove AND Howard Dean. He's allegedly mad at Rove for blocking him from joining Bush's team after Al Qaeda attacked America. He's mad at Dean for allegedly leaking word of their secret meeting in Los Angeles. LINK

Time's Joe Klein asks: "Can the real Wesley Clark match the fantasy version imagined by peacenik Democrats?" LINK

Time's Karen Tumulty looks at Clark's difficulties in enunciating his position on Iraq. LINK

"Only a day after his announcement, Clark told reporters on his campaign plane that if he had been in Congress last fall, he probably would have voted for the resolution authorizing President Bush to use force in Iraq. In a single sentence he had undermined the rationale for his whole candidacy-at least for those who saw him as Howard Dean with stars and a war record. Clark seems to have realized this himself, for the next day he reversed course." LINK

USA Today 's Richard Benedetto reports on the new Newsweek poll that shows Clark in a tight race with the president, but makes sure to Note, "History suggests that predictions this far out on who is likely to win the nomination, let alone the general election, are based on a fragile foundation. Early leaders often have a way of fading." LINK

Benedetto also Notes that Senator Biden was asked to contemplate a candidacy by his colleague Senator Clinton, and he "noted [sic] that Clinton generates strong opinions pro and con."

The Des Moines Register 's Tom Beaumont reports on Senator Lieberman's Sunday attack on Clark about Iraq. LINK

Clark will "Hear it from the Heartland." LINK

Variety's Jonathan Bing reports that Wesley Clark, Jr., "is writing two projects for Wolfgang Petersen's Radiant Prods., an original script called 'Cold Shelter,' set in the Cold War, and a script called 'That Others May Live,' about Air Force para-rescue jumpers. He also sold an untitled crime thriller to Warner Bros."

More: "Like his dad, Wesley Clark Jr. is a West Point grad with service experience. He's charismatic, producers say, and adroit with a pitch."

From ABC News' Clark campaign reporter Deborah Apton:

"The so-called grace period for General Clark's campaign will come to an end this week as he gears up for his first debate — and many are left wondering whether the other nine candidates' kind words for Clark when he was poised to enter the campaign will remain so now that he's actually in the race (comments from the Edwards, Lieberman, and Dean campaigns this weekend already show the threat Clark faces and poses). The Clark campaign met behind closed doors most of the weekend to discuss policy strategy and prep for the debate. Before General Clark headed out to cheer on the Arkansas' Razorbacks on Saturday, cheers being heard from outside the closed-doored gathering. After last week's rough start with The General's flip-flop on the Iraq vote and his stumbling unpreparedness to answer any questions on any domestic issues, this weekend's Newsweek poll could provide the fire in the belly needed to get this campaign in order."

"Today we wait and watch The General raise the bar on his campaign, going after money and support as quickly as he can. Campaign officials told the AP (LINK) that in the first three days of Clark's campaign, he's raised $750,000. If he keeps up that momentum, that would mean $1,750,000 in the first week or $7,500,000 in the first month. In order to do this, it means more fundraising and that's all over the schedule this week: beginning tonight in New York. As for how much the campaign hopes to raise this quarter, Clark adviser Mark Fabiani says the campaign is taking fundraising day by day and should have some projections 'at some point, but not yet.'"

Matt Bennett, the director of public affairs for Americans for Gun Safety, sent us this e-mail, in reference to Friday's VandeHei story about Clark's position on Brady, after The Note wrote "See VandeHei on Clark's apparent unfamiliarity with the Brady Law":

"Well in Friday's Post, VandeHei indeed did indeed tweak Clark for his failure in that regard. But then HE (Jim VDH) got it wrong. He went on to report that the Brady Act provides for background checks and waiting periods. That was true — in 1998. Waiting periods have been gone for 5 years, replaced by instant check."

"I agree with the general premise that Clark should've known about our most basic federal gun laws. But if the Post is going to jump on him for that, they should have THEIR facts straight, don't you think?"

Ms. Schwartz?

Clark, Message Issues:

Asked by U.S. News for the first three things he would do as president," Clark answered with more enthusiasm than mathematical skill: 'Work the foreign policy issue and the war on terrorism, reinvigorate the economy and provide new jobs, set in motion the kinds of programs that address urgent domestic needs and reduce the deficit.'" LINK

Clark, money potential:

Kit Seelye on the donations arriving unsolicited to Campaign Clark. LINK

"Advisers say the money does not include the $1.9 million that supporters pledged before he entered the race Wednesday. The campaign intends to notify those supporters … and ask them to back up their pledges with cash," the AP reports. LINK

Clark, the man:

Ron Brownstein looks at Clark-as-McLellan (the General, not Scott, for all you young staffers out there), the Civil War's anti-war General.

" … the greatest asset for Clark may be the way in which he most directly echoes McClellan. No one should underestimate how much Democrats will like hearing criticisms of the war with Iraq come from the mouth not of a politician, but a general. Imagine a liberal derided at work as a wimp for denouncing the war. It's one thing to tell your co-workers that Howard Dean also considers the war a mistake. It's another to say that's the verdict of a retired four-star general with a Silver Star and Bronze Star at home." LINK

The Los Angeles Times' Paul Richter takes a must-read look at The General's reputation in the military and among the diplomatic corps — popular in the Executive Branch, but at the Pentagon, not so much. LINK

" … Clark's military past is not an unalloyed asset. In fact, critics say, the Army's reluctance to back him for promotion illustrates misgivings that a number of his peers had about Clark despite his distinguished 37-year career."

Intelligent, a problem solver and opposing the Post -Vietnam philosophy that military force used in combat scenarios should be overwhelming, "Clark's accomplishments as a hustling problem solver again and again drew the attention of top civilian policymakers, from Gen. Alexander M. Haig Jr. during the Nixon administration to Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and national security adviser Samuel R. Berger during the Clinton administration."

It also got him a reputation for having smartest-kid-in-the-class syndrome.

Evan Thomas looks at the "real" Wes Clark. An "elite soldier-scholar who's made as many enemies as he's defeated in battle." LINK

Novak today on the 1994 meeting between Wes Clark and indicted war criminal and Serb commander Radko Mladic and the birth of the "Clark Rule." LINK

Paron — it's the new Hot Springs. The Arkansas Democrat Gazette focuses its pen on The General's central Arkansas hometown, Noting that Clark listed his Paron "red cabinlike house near the Walnut Bottom Cemetery and Church as his home" during the "last half of the 1990s when he voted in the 1996 and 2000 general elections." LINK

ABC 2004: The Invisible Primary: The Boston Herald's David Guarino reports, "Just four months from key first tests in New Hampshire and Iowa, activists, even those now committed to candidates this week showed a wandering eye as fresh Clinton rumors swirled and Clark joined the fray." LINK

The State's Lee Bandy, as he is apt to do, writes about the importance of South Carolina and Notes that the "Democrats' choice may hinge" on the Palmetto State. LINK

The Washington Times looks at the Southern vote through the lens of Clark's entry. LINK

Senator Biden is most inclined to support Kerry or Clark. LINK

Reuters also has Biden's comments on Kerry and Clark. LINK

Robin Toner in Sunday's New York Times looked at the Democrats search for a nominee who can inspire them and win a general election, and asked if that man is named "Clark." LINK

Adam Nagourney in Sunday's Week in Review looked at the veep prospects of Graham, Clark, and Edwards, with Jim Jordan trashing Clark (shocking!) and defending his words as not "excessive." LINK

Sunday's Boston Globe had Brian Mooney setting the "who will finish second to Dean in the 3rd quarter?" table, with no news and no surprises, except Lord help John Kerry if he doesn't break $5 million. LINK

Emmy scorecard: Dean shown in clip from Larry King trying to smile; mention of Hadassah Lieberman; Kristen Gore SNL nomination announced. It wasn't clear to us if Eli Attie was on the stage during the (boring/anti-climatic) Sorkin speech. And we are definitely ready for "Governor Joey" in the Golden State …


Kerry accused the Bush administration of "selling out traditional conservative Republicans in favor of an extreme right-wing agenda," the Manchester Union Leader reports. LINK

From ABC News' Kerry campaign reporter Ed O'Keefe on Kerry's "one-day, three-stop tear through southwestern New Hampshire."

"Throughout the day, the often scripted candidate seemed to be playing with his material, slightly adjusting and tweaking according to the previous crowd's questions and, more importantly, their reaction to his answers. But, one theme dominated: experience."

"To wit, Kerry at his first event this morning at Keene State College:"

"Fairly standard stump on foreign policy with a new kicker: 'You have to judge people on their record. What they've done. The road already traveled is prologue to the road yet to be traveled.'"

"Then, the candidate in the sultry Dusty's Diner of Claremont:"

"On the environment: 'I have the strongest, longest, broadest record of involvement with environmental issues than any of the other candidates.'"

"Again, on foreign policy: 'Again, unlike most of the candidates in this field, I have spent a lifetime of experience in studying how to make America safer.'"

"Campaign Finance: 'No other candidate has voluntarily given up PAC money, special interest money … if you go back over my Senate career I believe I've stood against the current.'"

"And, post-tweaking, it all comes together at the third event at New England College in Henniker:"

"Taking aim at Clark and Dean: 'I have the deepest, longest record of any of the candidates. Sure, one has been at the executive level of government. Sure, one has been in the military. But, I've done all of those things. The road traveled is prologue to the road to be traveled.'"


Dean and McGreevey talked infrastructure on Sunday. LINK

During a stop in Berlin, New Hampshire, Dean promised to head to Europe as president-elect to try to improve relations with foreign leaders. LINK

Yesterday the Boston Globe ran part one of their Howard Dean profile. LINK

The Boston Globe skims the surface of Dean's Vietnam back deferment in a sidebar to part one. LINK

In part two of the Boston Globe 's Howard Dean profile, Sarah Schweitzer and Tatsha Robertson report, "Of the four Dean boys, Charlie was supposed to be the politician." LINK

Today's chapter details the medical school years and the early interest in politics.

The Washington Post 's Lois Romano takes one of the most-nuanced views yet of how Dean's decentralized campaign operates — a must-read for those of you who haven't focused yet on what makes deanforamerica run. LINK

And Karen Hicks can have a nice laugh at Tom Rath's skepticism of the loyalty and stick-to-itness of Dean supporters.

Newt Gingrich agrees with Howard Dean (and disagrees with Dick Gephardt) in the whole "cut-versus-restraining-the-rate-of-growth debate, per Sunday's New York Times . LINK

From ABC News' Dean campaign reporter Marc Ambinder:

"Lest you think the Dean blogosphere is an amen corner for the candidate, get a load of this posted comment, from a 'DISGUSTED with Dean' 'demwarrior' who claims to have twice donated to Dean campaign, but who is uncomfortable with the focus on money:"

"'So, Gov. Dean, where's the bat for the homeless? Where's the bat for the soup kitchens? Where's the bat for AIDS patients? Where's the bat for battered women's shelters?'"

"'No — the only bat that's important is the one Dean will need to produce an embarrassment of riches and outspend his Democratic primary opponents 2 or 3 times over. Welcome to the new politics, everyone!'"

"Dean supporter Cavegal, who helps with DeanCorps projects in Austin, Texas, tries to set DIGUSTED straight in a later post:"

"'Now Disgusted I have a question for you:'"


"'What have you done as an individual in the past week to answer all of your own questions?'"

More from Ambinder:

"The Dean campaign may choose simply not respond to Gephardt campaign manager Steve Murphy's latest fundraising broadside, which weaves the question 'Where was Howard Dean?' through a chronology of major Democratic battles in the 1990s."

"'I don't know about you, but I've had enough. Howard Dean still insists that he's the candidate from 'the Democratic wing of the Democratic party,'" Murphy writes. "Well, where was Howard Dean when we needed him?'"

"Murphy's specific charges aren't new, and the Dean campaign has reams at the ready to try and reftute them, but they may hold their fire."

"'These are the types of tactics that turn people off from politics,' Dean's deputy communications director, Courtney O'Donnell, said last night."

"This week and early next week, as attacks on Dean may escalate from many corners (from Gephardt, Lieberman, Kerry, Clark on the war, others), look for the Dean campaign to sit back and focus on their bat challenge and their volunteers; their world-record setting conference call;"

"The campaign doesn't want to be drawn into a tit-for-tat fight when two important goals: reaching 450,000 volunteers by 9/30 and raising $5 million from the web -- are at stake. On Tuesday, Dean hopes to fill Copley Square in Boston to capstone the campaign's message of the month."

"Using Boston-ish historical analogies (ABC News has seen a draft of part of the speech), Dean will say the nation is at a pivot point and that the upcoming election will determine its direction, and that by joining the Dean movement, Democrats and voters can take their country back from special interests. You've heard the theme before, but the rhetoric and tone will be slightly different."

"The Emmy audience had a very big laugh at Howard Dean's expense last night, as the governor's occasionally odd smile (one lip raises, teeth flair, then the mouth relaxes), caught in a Larry King interview, became fodder for a Jon Stewart line. But you just know that it'll move that bat up in some ungainly way, too."

Saturday night (live) with Howard Dean:

The Note hereby predicts that Howard Dean will guest host or play a major role on an episode of "Saturday Night Live" well before the Iowa caucuses.

And this prediction is based on no reporting whatsoever, but, rather, The Doctor's great facility with "talent," which he displayed Saturday night (well after most paper's deadlines) in Manhattan, about 30 blocks away from 30 Rock.

We will say it again — Page Belting notwithstanding, every week, Howard Dean goes to events that are filled with more energy and the feel of "specialness" than most of the other candidates have enjoyed all campaign.

The Howard Dean event Saturday night at the Limelight, sorry, Avalon, in Chelsea was just such an event, and it kicked off with a haunting medley of seminal '80s tunes, courtesy of the vinyl-happy DJ, who seemed unwilling to succumb to the club's name and vibe change. Pulling LPs and 45s from a battered box, he allowed the murky space to once more echo with A-Ha's "Take On Me," "If You Leave" by Orchestral Maneuvres in the Dark, and "Don't You Want Me" by the Human League, which must have been a thrill for those with lingering memories of dancing to Culture Club, resplendent in rubber bracelets, parachute pants and Fiorucci glitter.

The crowd consisted of earnest Gen-Y volunteers ("I graduated in 2001." "High school?" "Yeah." "Me too!"), a few of whom panicked when asked to perform simple tasks ("But I don't know how to do anything!"); cranky thirty-somethings who griped about the muddy audio ("I paid $75 for this ticket-I want to hear Al Franken!") and demanded drinks from the fetchingly-attired waitresses (little black dresses, boots, fishnets); and mellow Boomers, who, having paid $500 apiece, good-naturedly moseyed from catwalks to VIP zones, escorted by hyper helpers ("Where do we put the 'Very Important People?'"), as other volunteers attempted with minimal success to prevent small mishaps on the dimly-lit stairways or explain away the persistent audio problems.

The program began with a stream of local performers and politicians, including Note neighbor Richard Gottfried, then launched into the entertainment portion, with usual-suspect celebrities taking turns to plug Dean and make bitter "Bush is stupid" jokes.

Petite, platinum-mulleted Janeanne Garafalo served as emcee of sorts.

The well-received Al Franken seemed to be in a, ahem, celebratory mood, perhaps due to the success of his latest book, a copy of which he held aloft after cussing out Brit Hume and using expressions not suitable for this modest publication.

A sparkly-attired Gloria Gaynor took the stage to belt out a few classics ("Never Can Say Goodbye"), then made way for movie-sitcom-talkshow-gameshow-star Whoopi Goldberg, who declared it "too easy to run down Bush" (yet proceeded to do just that), poked some fun at Republicans in California ("They're trying to elect Arnold, child!"), used some blue-ish language about the administration's policies, anticipated an Osama-related October Surprise, and introduced the Doctor himself, who accepted the mike with his trademark rolled-up sleeves and resolute demeanor.

Dean took care of some business, reminding the crowd of New York's deadline to register to vote as a Democrat in the March primary, then went into his crowd-pleasing stump speech, with plenty of mentions (total of three) of "Ken Lay and the Boys" thrown in for good measure, all of which was met with enthusiastic cheers and ovations. Gloria Gaynor returned to sing "I Will Survive," with the talent piling on stage to serve as ersatz back-up singers and dancers, while a jubilant Governor Dean grabbed Whoopi Goldberg for a jaw-dropping, vigorous, twirly spin around center stage.

Then the Avalon abruptly was returned to its rightful owners, and the Dean crowd was summarily ejected onto the New York streets, albeit with time remaining for dinner and a movie.


On Sunday, The Boston Globe 's Brian Mooney called Chrissy Gephardt the "secret weapon" of her father's campaign. LINK

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Jo Mannies writes, "Although Gephardt has gotten good reviews on some of his speeches and debate performances, his status as a 'top tier' hopeful likely hinges on his Oct. 15 report. It must show stronger fund-raising numbers than his lackluster reports in July and April." LINK


During his appearance on "Face the Nation" Senator Edwards dismissed the significance of Newsweek's poll showing Clark in the lead. LINK

The Raleigh News and Observer's John Wagner give the post-game report on Edwards' appearance on Face. LINK

The Des Moines Register 's Philip Brasher takes a look at the state of Edwards' boyhood town, Robbins, and the state of his candidacy. LINK

Brasher also reports that "some doctors and insurance officials in the Democratic presidential candidate's home state of North Carolina say that Edwards, a wildly successful trial lawyer before getting into politics, is part of the [health insurance cost] problem." LINK

From ABC News' Edwards campaign reporter Gloria Riviera:


Senator John Edwards: 'Hi, I'm John Edwards.'"

Bruncher on the spot: 'Huh?' Pause. 'Oh yeah, I've heard your name.'"

"That's as good as it got for Edwards during his brief stop in San Francisco's Castro District on behalf of Gov. Davis. The location was notable in that it highlighted Edwards' position on gay marriage, civil union and adoption: against gay marriage, for civil unions, partner benefits and adoption. Edwards' young children, Emma Claire and Jack Atticus, play at the same park in D.C. as those of a gay couple. Knowing that couple, he says, has inspired him as a parent and influenced his stance on the issue of gay adoption. Still, Davis' recent bill for gay rights 'is not the type of legislation [he] would support,' said spokeswoman Jennifer Palmieri. 'It's a divisive issue in North Carolina.' It is also an issue Edwards left out of his handy platform Cliff Notes, 'Real Solutions for America — America Works Best When It Works For All Of Us.'"


The Florida papers continue to rough up Senator Graham's candidacy, with Tampa Tribune columnist Daniel Ruth Noting that "the more marginalized Graham begins to appear nationally, the less attractive he becomes as a possible running mate." LINK


Facing only one questions about the Iraq war, Lieberman accused Bush of breaking his pledge to unite the nation while addressing Harkin's "Hear it from the Heartland" forum in Cedar Rapids, the AP's Mike Glover reports. LINK


Pindell reports that Kucinich's New Hampshire staff has resigned, replaced by staff from the national headquarters. LINK

Meanwhile, Kucinich was greeted with cheers in New Hampshire when he touted his role in two presidential debates as "the single voice saying it is time for the U.N. to go into Iraq and the U.S. to get out," the Manchester Union Leader reports. LINK

Congressman Kucinich "chastised his rivals for sidestepping questions about whether they support Bush's request for $87 billion for postwar Iraq," the AP's Holly Ramer reports. LINK

In Sunday's Boston Globe , Mary Leonard wrote that "Kucinich roared with gale force winds into Cambridge Friday to keynote a Peace Action dinner." LINK

Moseley Braun:

Carol Moseley Braun will stress her unique qualifications when she announces her candidacy today, the AP's Nedra Pickler reports. LINK

"'A woman can fix the mess they have created, because we are practical, we are not afraid of partnerships and we are committed to making the world better for our children.'"

"Monday's kickoff schedule started with speeches at two historically black colleges — Howard University in Washington and Benedict College in Columbia, S.C. Braun's final appearance was scheduled in her home town of Chicago … ."

As Ambassador Moseley Braun travels today to make it "official," the State wonders what makes an announcement "official" if one has been campaigning for months already. LINK


Knight Ridder's Kevin Wiatrowski reports on Reverend Sharpton's visit to Conway, South Carolina, last night, where he "tailored his speech to the church's packed house, reminding a responsive crowd about blacks' long years of struggle to earn the right to vote." LINK


The Washington Post 's well-accented Tania Branigan warms Nick Baldick's heart by pointing out just how wide and deep the undecidedness of Iowa Democrats runs. LINK

ABC 2004: Taste of the Campaign:

Are they coming for the dessert or are they coming for the rare opportunity to get K Street's Ron Fournier on a chocolate high?

As The Note has reviewed the ever-growing crowd planning to attend David Westin and Peter Jennings' Culinary Clash in Capital next Wednesday night, we have to wonder — are they coming for the sweets or are they just sweet on Ron Brownstein?

The nation's top political reporters (yes, we mean you , Adam Nagourney) will be among the crowds voting for the best presidential dessert.

The campaigns will be out in force, all for the chance to convince Dan Balz that Reverend Al Sharpton's Sweet Potato Pie can overcome all the odds.

And with one vote per guest, on this night of all nights, everyone's pen is equally powerful.

It all happens Wednesday night as Westin and Jennings fete the ABC News campaign coverage team and the Googling monkeys (making a rare semi-public appearance).

Which campaign staffers (and, dare we say it, candidates) will be smart enough to take a break from debate prep to get lubricated social access to those who will determine who "looked presidential" on that cable stage?

ABC 2004: Bush-Cheney re-elect:

The Wall Street Journal does its steel tariff story today on A6, with this throw-away graph, mentioning the Boogeyman:

"Many of the president's top economic advisers support dumping the tariffs, saying they have already helped the steel industry overhaul and are more of a problem than they are worth. But as in March 2001, when the White House backed the tariffs, President Bush could seek the ultimate advice from his top political adviser, Karl Rove. Administration officials say the president will weigh the two reports at length before making any decision."

Dorothy Rabinowitz writes a love letter to the Two Davids, explaining why the left goes so hard after John Ashcroft.

"For the first time in a year, Bush's approval ratings on Iraq have dropped below 50 percent," Newsweek reports. LINK

USA Today 's Judy Keen and Haya El Nasser report that the "Bush administration has a pattern of announcing controversial or unfavorable news as the weekend begins." LINK

The duo Note that while this "administration isn't the first to try to bury bad news," it "has had many bad-news Fridays."

On Sunday, the Des Moines Register 's Jonathan Roos reported that the president's "popularity in Iowa has plunged as more Iowans have become disenchanted with his handling of Iraq and the economy." LINK

The AP's Tom Raum reports that the President is carefully picking his states for stops on the campaign trail. LINK

Yesterday's New York Times included a Dick Stevenson piece on the administration's apparent shift to better match up rhetoric with conditions on the ground — what Paul Begala calls "reality." LINK

Brit Hume actually told Howie Kurtz (the REAL Howie Kurtz, not the Howie Kurtz who plays Howie Kurtz on "K Street" … ) that he modeled his interview with President Bush on Larry King. LINK

California recall, the courts:

USA Today 's Martin Kasindorf looks at the high unlikelihood of a delayed recall. LINK

The court's track record (en banc panels have overturned three-judge panel rulings 75% of the time) and the presence of judicial conservatives and moderates, as opposed to the liberal judges on the smaller panel, are two major reasons for betting that the big day will be October 7.

"The judges can act quickly because 'among momentous cases, this one is simpler than most,' says Vikram Amar, a professor at the University of California Hastings College of the Law. 'It involves one Supreme Court precedent, and facts that most of these judges are aware of.'''

The AP eyeballs the 9th Circuit judges and handicaps their decision: LINK

As does the San Francisco Chronicle: LINK

The Los Angeles Times' Henry Weinstein looks at the role of public opinion in the judicial process LINK

"When they decide how those general statements apply to specific cases, judges almost always turn not just to their lawbooks, but to their life experiences and their views of the role judges should play in society."

"'Most judges do not stray far from public opinion,'" said Howard Gillman, a professor of political science and law at USC. Either the judges are sensitive themselves to public views or they were picked by politicians who do 'not appoint these people to be iconoclastic.'"

USA Today 's Patrick McMahon reports that some California elections officials are worrying that just the discussion of a possible delay will diminish voter turnout in the recall. LINK

By the way, today's the last day to register to vote in the recall, reminds the Los Angeles Times' Allison Hoffman LINK

The San Francisco Chronicle throws in a handy list of phone numbers for county registrars. LINK

Were we the only ones (besides the Wall Street Journal ed board) to notice that Judge Pregerson did an on-the-record interview with the Los Angeles Times this weekend about the prospect of his being reversed en banc?

California recall, the latest poll:

John Wildermuth's lead in yesterday's poll write up for the San Francisco Chronicle undoubtedly made the folks on Pico happy. LINK

"The recall race has tightened dramatically in the past month, with a growing number of voters expressing doubts about ousting Democratic Gov. Gray Davis from office, according to a poll released today by the Public Policy Institute of California."

53% in favor of the recall, 42% opposed. The PPIC poll also has Bustamante and Schwarzenegger in a dead heat (28% and 25%, respectively) with McClintock trailing a bit behind.

Keying off the latest PPIC poll, La Opinion writes under the headline, "The Recall Loses Strength." LINK

California recall, Arnold:

The Los Angeles Times' Joe Mathews discusses what has become a standard Schwarzenegger defense: He made it up: LINK "Confronted with Schwarzenegger's own words on drug use, his early business practices, women and his immigration status, campaign aides — and the candidate himself — have disavowed many of the comments he has made during the last 30 years.

In doing so, they have said that Schwarzenegger either exaggerated or erred in dozens of interviews he gave to promote his career and even in his 1977 autobiography."

And here's that Sean Walsh quote in all its glory:

"This week, Sean Walsh, a campaign spokesman, said that, 'as an entertainer and promoter of his sports and films for decades, he has often stretched the envelope to grab attention and to promote activities he has been engaged in, to shock and grab the reader and the viewer.'"

Note to California reporters: would someone get Sean Walsh to stop saying "stretch the envelope," which is a mixed metaphor which we think goes too far in pushing the envelope.

Hell, everybody lies, the rationale goes. And it doesn't seem to be side-swiping Schwarzenegger's poll numbers.

"'I think this may be a precedent,' said Bill Carrick, a Democratic consultant who is not tied to a particular campaign in the recall. 'The entertainment business is a business where everybody gets to have a new life or new lives all the time. We're seeing the Hollywood model of public relations and the Hollywood model of crisis management applied to politics. I think you may see candidates deal with questions this way in the future.'"

The San Francisco Chronicle's Carla Marinucci was at Schwarzenegger's environmental event yesterday, where the candidate who's running for governor in the state that made the Prius famous drove up in — a GMC Yukon. LINK

Schwarzenegger talked about his proposal for a "hydrogen highway" — with hydrogen fueling stops every 20 miles on the state's highways, and criticized Davis for coming up with only lip service on the environment.

"But asked about legislation Davis has signed, including a bill that made California the first state to ban greenhouse gases, Schwarzenegger responded 'I'm not aware of all those bills he has signed.'"

The Los Angeles Times' Joe Mathews was there too. LINK

"As an actor, Schwarzenegger publicly embraced the Hummer, a gas-guzzling military vehicle, as part of his larger-than-life image, and helped transform it into a popular civilian vehicle. But as a candidate, he argued Sunday, he would be an environmentally friendly governor, opposing off-shore oil drilling, calling for more aggressive enforcement of environmental laws — and even retrofitting his Hummer to run on hydrogen instead of gasoline."

Matthews Notes the two dozen supporters at the event, and includes this priceless exchange:

"Pressed by reporters about why he had not converted his Hummer to cleaner fuel before he became a candidate, Schwarzenegger said: 'Because I'm not perfect.'"

And speaking of the actor that helped bring the Hummer to a driveway near you, Mickey Kaus picks up on Schwarzenegger saying he "created" the Hummer industry.

"Al Gore may have invented the Internet, but Arnold Schwarzenegger invented the Hummer — LINK --the civilian version, anyway. Or so he said on Fox's 'The O'Reilly Factor.'"

"'I'm very proud of the Hummer, because I created that industry. I went to the Hummer factory and said we should make this Hummer not only a military car but a civilian car. [Emph. added]'"

"Egomania aside, I actually think Schwarzenegger may be telling the truth about this. P.S.: Schwarzenegger quickly added "Now we have to find ways how to create alternative, you know, fuel for them."

The Los Angeles Times' Steve Lopez ripped Schwarzenegger for the "take home" debate yesterday. LINK

"Arnold El Guapo?" We gotta ask Sean Walsh about this one … LINK

Critics see Mr. Universe as a lightweight, The Washington Times reports. LINK

California recall, the governor:

Watershed for immigrants' rights or pandering? Governor Davis signed legislation granting illegal immigrants the right to get driver's licenses in California. Now he's mulling bills that could give them free community college tuition and make local governments recognize Mexican government IDs. LINK

California recall, the GOP:

Mark Z. Barabak and former ABC News' desk assistant Michael Finnegan delivered a McClintock v. Schwarzenegger Saturday Los Angeles Times story looking ahead to Thursday's gathering of Republican County Chairmen in Sacramento. LINK

"As the campaigns traded barbs, the upcoming meeting of Republican county leaders added to the friction."

"Party bylaws forbade a candidate endorsement at last weekend's state GOP gathering in Los Angeles. But there was strong sentiment among some party leaders to back the movie star as the GOP's best hope of uniting behind a single candidate to replace Gov. Gray Davis, if he is recalled."

"Next week's endorsement session, scheduled for Thursday in Sacramento, was called at the request of 10 members of the California Republican County Chairmen's Assn. Schwarzenegger met privately with the group at the convention and lobbied its members for support."

"A resolution, to be introduced by Riverside County Republican Chairman Kevin Jeffries, says the party must unite behind one candidate."

California recall, the rest of the field:

The Los Angeles Times' Allison Hoffman and Joel Rubin give some column inches to the lesser-known candidates LINK

The politics of national security:

David Sanger in the New York Times says POTUS at the U.N. is going to be no retreat, baby, no surrender on Iraq. LINK

Keying off of the Brit Hume interview, the New York Post reports that President Bush plans to "stick to his guns" at the UN. LINK

And the New York Times ' Shanker says the Bush administration will accentuate the positive this week when its all-star line-up of Rumsfeld, Bremer, Wolfowitz and Abizaid pass the plate before Congress. LINK

On "Good Morning America" this ayem, Bremer said, "I think this $87 billion, a lot for the military and economic reconstruction, will put Iraq on the path to stability and to a stable democracy, which is the president's vision"

We especially like this line from Sec. Wolfowitz at his appearance in Greenwich Village, only blocks away from our favorite dog run (LINK). "First of all, being wrong in this business does not mean messing up." LINK

USA Today 's Bill Nichols reports, "Bush aides say that he's well aware of how important it is for him to please this particular [U.N.]audience and that he plans to take a conciliatory tone that acknowledges past divisions — though he'll also insist that the U.N. meet its responsibilities in Iraq." LINK

Knight Ridder's Ron Hutcheson writes, "No matter how the negotiations go, no one expects significant help in Iraq anytime soon." LINK

The Boston Globe 's Anne Kornblut reports that the president said Sunday that "it was 'uncivil' for [Senator Kennedy] to accuse the administration of bribing foreign nations to take part in the Post war effort. Bush said the senator 'should not' have made the remark." LINK

Big Casino budget politics:

On Sunday, David Rosenbaum of the New York Times reviewed the history of Big Casino issues of the '90s and looks for clues for today, and proves once again that he is neither supply sider nor Keynsian in talking about how the deficit could be reduced:

"It would help for some of the president's tax cuts to be repealed, or at least postponed, and for Congress and the president to agree to rigid spending discipline, neither of which seems likely to occur." LINK

Politics: Robert Bartley columnizes a must-read in the Wall Street Journal , breaking the code on the Rovian view of the status of the Democratic Party. Well done.

"Cynthia A. McKinney, the Georgia Democrat who was voted out of Congress last year, is being considered as part of a Green Party presidential ticket next year," The Washington Times reports. LINK

"Miss McKinney, who declared that President Bush knew in advance about the September 11 attacks, was lauded on a Web site,, which was urging her to run at the top of the Green Party ticket." LINK

The New York Times says Kate Michelman is stepping down next spring. LINK

Former Denver Mayor Wellington Webb will soon assume the title of vice chairman of the Democratic National Committee, the Denver Post reports. LINK

Roll Call 's Chris Cillizza reports that "Rep. Bill Janklow (R-S.D.) is set to hold a press conference today in which he is expected to address his political future after his involvement in an automobile accident Aug. 16 that left a man dead and the former governor charged with second-degree manslaughter."

Michael Powell mused "inconclusively" to the Paper of Record about "how much longer" he would be at the FCC and reflected on the politics of his past year. LINK

And Salon, looking at why Trent Lott is so busy fighting the FCC's new ownership regulations, offers this:

"A former veteran Hill staffer who worked extensively on telecommunication issues is more blunt: 'If Lott can hide behind the cloak of localism and make life miserable for the White House and the party leadership, that's fine with him.'" LINK

Legislative agenda:

With Republicans putting ANWR back into the energy bill, the Democrats get ready to block it, per the New York Times .(Someone call the Teamsters!) LINK

K Street:

Mentions of Ron Fournier and Mitch Bainwol AND a Tammy Haddad cameo on Episode II!!!

This is The Note's kind of TV show.

And Roll Call 's Brody Mullins reports that James Carville thinks Senator Lott is out to get him. The Note thinks that's probably true, but also thinks that it had little to do with "K Street" being banned from the Capitol.

Hats off to Paton Boggs … Roll Call reports, "Aided by a $1.5 million boost in lobbying revenues, Patton Boggs vaulted ahead of Cassidy & Associates as Washington's top lobbying firm, according to a semiannual review of lobbying disclosure forms for the first half of 2003."